A Dodger Stadium gate that has been closed for years is being reopened for the upcoming season, causing fans to cheer and nearby residents to worry.
The Stadium Way Gate B, formerly known as the Scott Avenue gate, will be open for all 81 home games in an attempt to reduce congestion in and around the stadium.
"We believe the best way for us to minimize the impact to our neighbors is to get our fans into and out of the stadium as quickly as possible," Dodgers Senior Vice President of External Affairs Renata Simril said in a statement. "This is critical to alleviating traffic along Sunset Boulevard, which we all know backs up terribly."
The team said it is not changing any neighborhood protection along Scott Avenue from Stadium Way to Glendale Boulevard. An additional gate has some fans, who are used to waiting in traffic before and after games, excited.
"The wait to get out of the stadium is long enough," said Eddie Corrales. "I wouldn't mind it opening because it would make getting in and out of the stadium a lot faster."
That sentiment is not shared by people living near the entrance. They have been fighting the Dodgers and the city to keep the gate closed in order to protect their community.
"The onslaught of traffic and public safety threat that goes along with thousands of car redirected onto our local roads promises to wreak havoc on our residential community for nearly a quarter of the calendar year," a petition from the group Concerned Citizens of Echo Park said.
More than 450 residents have signed the petition.
For Elysian Park resident Alejandra Flores, unruly fans already make her and her family feel unsafe at times.
"My kids have to stay inside the house," Flores said. "We can't go outside. They threatened my husband. What is this? And the Dodgers are doing nothing."
According to Dana Starfield, a resident directly impacted by the gate opening, people understand there will be traffic issues when you live near a stadium but a line must be drawn somewhere.
"We are all willing to put up with a certain level, but 81 days a year is something no resident should have to live with," Starfield said. "We want to be able to get to and park near our homes. These are local streets."
Starfield said neighbors plan on going to the mayor and LAPD to improve the situation.
"I hope we can get the mayor’s office involved in this," Starfield said. "He is big on public transportation and meanwhile he is sitting back and letting the Dodgers reconfigure his old neighborhood. If he can’t protect his old neighbors who can he protect?"
The gate will open April 4 when the Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants in their home opener.